NDSU Extension - Williams County


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Winter Traveling December 18, 2017

Danielle Steinhoff

County Agent Update


Be Prepared for Winter Travel

As the snowy weather and cold mornings are among us, we now know winter is going to be here for the next few months. Winter travel is something that we all have to do, and it is best to be prepared. We now live in the world of technology, many think that having a fully charged phone is enough. There are still areas where cell phone service isn’t great, and phone can get cold in the winter and shut off; so what do we need to be prepared?

Always having a fully charged cell phone is a great starting point, but another good idea is a map of the area you are traveling. The following is a list of items that can easily fit into a box in the back of your vehicle, where everything can be contained.

-          Snow and cold weather clothing, keeping a good pair of winter boots in your vehicle is a great start. Along with snow pants, hat, gloves and extra socks. These items may take up a little more room in the box, so a small duffle bag is a great way to keep them contained.

-          Emergency blanket, small packaging so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. If you are unable to purchase an emergency blanket, a household blanket will help keep you warm as well. Many keep disposable hand warmers in their vehicle, to be able to stick into shoes or mittens

-          Kitty litter or sand, this will add traction of your vehicle becomes stuck in snow. Also keeping a small shovel in your vehicle will help you be able to remove snow from your tires.

-          Ice scraper and brush, this is good to have in your vehicle even not in an emergency kit. Cleaning off your vehicle before traveling can help keep you and others on the road safe

-          Flashlight, most of us have a flashlight on our cellphones, but as mentioned above our cell phones are not always reliable. Keeping extra batteries in your vehicle is a good idea as well.

-          Jumper cables and tool kit, keeping a set of cables in your vehicle can help you get a jump start if your battery dies. Keeping a tool kit in your vehicle is a great idea to help loosen or fix items that may be broken or stuck during the winter months.

-          Dried, non-perishable food such as dried fruit or nuts. They are able to last months and don’t have to worry about them freezing.

-          Bottles of water is always a good idea, but those can freeze during the cold nights. Keeping a lighter or waterproof matches and a small camping pot is great to be able to melt snow for drinking water.

The items mentioned above may just be some basic ideas for keeping you safe if you become stranded during the cold months. Always letting your co-workers, friends or family know when you are on the road and when you arrive at your destination will have another person have knowledge of the route and times you are driving. Remember to take your time during the winter months when on the road, black ice and blowing snow is a factor we will always have here in western North Dakota.

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